BRM 200 Audax Suisse

Apr 22, 2022

The route planning

Since London-Edinburgh-London is approaching at great speed (I realised there are only 3 more months for preparation), I felt the urge for some longer training distances. The idea was to get to the starting point of the BRM200 “by fair means” (by bike) and thereby add another 200km to make it a BRM 400. Besides, there is also another BRM 600 in the planning to allow for an early pre-registration for Paris-Brest-Paris in 2023. The 200km approach to Buch - that is where all Audax Suisse brevets start - was basically the first 200km of this planned BRM600 - in reverse direction.

We wanted to make this an easy one, so there is only one significant climb up to the Swabian Alb (in reverse direction, this is a steep descent) - besides, the route mainly follows the Lauchert river and Danube river. To avoid some steep climbs in the middle and not to go on streets with potentially high traffic, it contains a few kilometers of gravel roads - all of them are easy to ride with a road bike and 28mm tires.

After those 200km to Buch, the track follows a fully-paved route around Lake of Constance. In comparison to the 2019 route, I missed some gravel sections, since they bring you closer to the lake - but going on paved roads only made this a great BRM for beginners.

You can find the whole route on Komoot:

Or check my activity on Strava

Time-wise I planned for an arrival at around 6:00 in the morning to still have some time to take a nap and enjoy the fantastic breakfast that is legendary for Audax Suisse brevets. The BRM 200 around the lake would start at 7:50.

Through the night

The bike ready to go, I started at in Tübingen at 18:45. The temperatures were still about 15º, and it was a cozy ride into the night. The sun went down just when I arrived at the plateau of the Swabian Alb, what followed was a 50km slow descent down to Sigmaringen where I took a first longer break at 22:15 and had something to eat. Since I could not sit inside, it got quite cold, and I started to put on all the clothes that I brought with me. Remember: April nights are still fresh!

Shortly after Sigmaringen, I took the wrong route and had to take a 3 km de-tour. The soft ascent along the Danube valley allowed for keeping a good speed, and although I didn’t want to push too hard, I arrived in Tuttlingen at 2:00 in the morning and took another longer break at a gas station - the friendly person there allowed me to come inside, and I could warm up a little.

The last 50km to Buch started with a climb that got steeper and steeper towards the end and finally a great descent towards the Suisse border. Eventually I arrived in Buch at 4:15 in the morning.

Re-union in Buch

It felt great to come back to this place where so many great adventures started, and I was looking forward to meeting all the other randonneurs again that I knew would also participate in the event. But first, I wanted to take a nap - and for whatever reason I thought the door to the gym - in which you can usually lay down on a mattress and sleep - was closed. So I sat down in front of it and soon started to freeze… once I realised the door was open, it was already too late for a nap, since the first cyclists got up, and it became too noisy for me to sleep.

At around 6:00, everyone was awake and the kitchen crew was busy preparing the breakfast. If you think about a breakfast at a sports event, you might have some simple sandwiches in mind together with a cold coffee and a few sweet snacks. Breakfast at Audax Suisse is different - there is a wide selection of fresh-baked bread, yogurt, milk-rice, cake, sausages, cheese… more or less everything you can imagine… and it felt great to re-fill my energy after this night.

One person I was specifically looking forward to meet again was Thomas, the organiser of the Audax Suisse brevets. Although we had some email contact every now and then, it was great to meet again in person and share old and new memories and planning new events.

Around Lake of Constance

Although I went around Lake of Constance only the weekend before (in the opposite direction), this time was special, since I had the great honour to accompany 2 friends for whom it was either the very first time taking part in a brevet or the first brevet after a 2 year interruption due to having a baby. My job was to provide them with a good pace to that they would arrive back in Buch on time (target time for BRM 200 is 13.5 hours). Keeping this in mind, the plan was to take a first break after 60km and another one after 130km to have lunch.

We managed to keep a good pace and joined some more cyclists so that at the end we were riding in a group of 6. Some head wind made it a bit challenging, therefore the temperatures were just right - not too hot and not too cold.

For successfully finishing the Brevet, you had to check in at two check points, one in Meersburg and one behind Rohrschach - after climbing the only significant hill along the whole route.

We went around the lake clock-wise, starting in Radolfzell, passing Meersburg, Immenstaad, Friedrichshafen and Lindau before we made it across the Austrian border just before Bregenz. One of the most beautiful segments starts right after Bregenz where you pass the delta of the Rhine river flowing into the lake. We stopped for a lunch break before crossing the border to Switzerland and filled our bellies (too much) before starting with the climb to Rohrschacher Berg.

Once we made it to the top, we knew that it was a long but flat way back home - the only challenge was not to prematurely end the route by heading directly to Konstanz where I was planning to spend the night.

Towards the end we joined more and more riders - some of them well-known from previous brevets - and were quite a crowd when we finally arrived back in Buch at 19:15 - more than two hours earlier than closing time. All of us made it in time!

Thank you Audax Suisse

It was no big surprise that the event was perfectly organised and the atmosphere was just great. A big thank you to the organisers from Audax Suisse - most of all the “Küchenfee” (kitchen fairy) and the whole crew around Thomas that made this event possible. I am very much looking forward to the next events with you!

Similar Posts